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Video Game / Dark Chronicle

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"There was a time when our world was blanketed in darkness. The people of that time fought back and reclaimed their future. But their story could never be passed down to future generations. Did this amazing adventure really happen or not? No one knows for sure, but if you can walk out into the night sky and speak to the moon, I'm sure it would tell you all about our strange adventure."

Dark Chronicle (known as Dark Cloud 2 in North America) is the sequel to Dark Cloud developed by Level-5 and released on 2003.

Maximillian (or just Max) is a boy who resides in Palm Brinks, which is mysteriously cut off from the rest of the world. Max loves to create a myriad of inventions while working in the local repair shop, run by an old man named Cedric. While attending a circus in the town square, Max is attacked by the ringmaster Flotsam and his goons, who are after the red jewel that Max wears around his neck. Upon escaping, he discovers an abandoned railroad, which connects to "the outside world". With Cedric's help, Max restores the trains and leaves the town, and quickly runs into Monica, a female knight from 100 years into the future. She carries the same jewel as Max, except hers is blue and worn as a bracelet. She tells him that the forces of evil (Emperor Griffon and his servants) are erasing things from her time period as well as Max's, but with the power of the Atlamillia (the jewels), they can fix the time periods by recovering their "origin points".


Unlike in the original game, there are only two primary playable characters, although Max and Monica have secondary abilities of attack; Max is given "Steve the Ridepod", a machine built by Cedric, and Monica can collect monster badges, which allows her to morph into monsters. They are also given two weapons each to compensate. Max uses blunt items—mainly wrenches and hammers—and a gun, while Monica uses swords and magic-casting armlets. Many of the weapons are repeated from the previous game: Monica uses a lot of the same swords and armlets as Toan and Ruby, and Max uses some of the same hammers and guns as Goro and Osmond.

On January 2015, the game was re-released on the PS4, complete with trophies and upscaled graphics.

Despite any rumors which may still be floating around, a third game is not in development. However, the Georama system made a comeback in White Knight Chronicles I and II, making the games something of a Spiritual Successor to the Dark Cloud series.


This game provides examples of:

  • Abandoned Mine: The Zemite Mines, the game's Bonus Dungeon.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The very first dungeon, the Underground Channel, is large enough for people and Flotsam's elephant to walk in. You can even play golf in it!
  • Action Girl: Monica Raybrandt is a powerful princess and even more capable than Max at the beginning of the game.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Gaspard, responsible for killing Monica's father and ruining the timeline on Griffon's behalf gets a very sympathetic send-off when he opposes Griffon's command to kill the heroes and finally gets a flashback to his Dark and Troubled Past.
    • Almost the same thing happens to Griffon, of all people. It's a little confusing, since it's hard to tell where Griffon ended and the Dark Element began, but Max's example led to a complete 180 in Griffon's attitude, and he died saving the world in a big way after being mortally wounded when trying to defend Max and Monica from the Dark Element.
  • Ancestral Weapon: The Holy Daedalus Blade, King Raybrandt's sword is passed down to Monica if you complete Gundorada Workshop.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: You can go to Mayor Need to trade your very hard-earned Medals for outfits not sold in stores, such as a clown suit, Monica's princess gown, or a Cat Girl Fur Bikini. Try not to think too hard about why Need would have these.
  • An Exterior Designer Is You: Like its predecessor, the other half of the game, other than Dungeon Crawling, is the Georama: build towns according to its inhabitants' needs or wishes —such as painting their roof black, putting their house next to a tree, or placing three people as neighbors. Although it is not necessary to advance, each town has specific requirements, and very good rewards, for achieving 100% Completion.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: The Dark Element represents hate, resentment and evil.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The Seal-Breaking Scroll, available fairly early in the game, breaks the seals on certain dungeon floors so that you aren't locked into using just one character. They cost a bit, but players quickly find themselves making enough money to carry a few on them at a time.
    • Unlike in Dark Cloud, broken weapons don't disappear. They simply become nigh-useless until repaired. This was a huge source of relief from folks who'd had weapons break after spending hours and hours leveling them up.
  • Apathetic Citizens: Double-subverted. At the start of the game, the citizens aren't even the slightest bit concerned about the fact that there hasn't been any contact from the outside world in over ten years, as well as the fact that the mayor hasn't allowed anyone to leave the city. But when the truth about the world's end is finally brought out into the open... they take it quite well, actually.
  • Art Initiates Life: Parn's wife Julia was a painting he brought to life using gold paint made from gold eggs.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Steve's Missile Pod Arms. Sure, it looks awesome... but good luck hitting anything. They work a lot better if you're in a wide-open area, with a lock on your target. However, it also suffers from chewing through WHP ridiculously fast, like the Machine Gun Arm.
    • Monica's Monster Badges allow her to shapeshift into different monsters. Which is very cool, but these monster forms need to be leveled up individually, which can take an incredibly long time, and they start out being much weaker than the weapons you'll have by the time you get them. And most of them have pretty poor attacks to work with.
  • Badass Normal: Max, who can beat monsters to death with just a wrench and shoot them with a gun.
  • Back Tracking: In Chapter 6, you have to return to four of the dungeons you previously visited, and take a path you previously couldn't.
  • Beast Man: The Moon People are all vaguely anthropomorphic rabbits (more rabbit than human) and there's plenty of ducks, apes, and other humanoid animals living together with humans as completely ordinary citizens.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Subverted with Griffon's true form. Despite his cute appearance, he really is that dangerous.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The Firbits pull this off by flying the Carpenterion into Griffon's palace to whisk Max and Monica to safety.
  • Big Fancy Castle: Griffon's castle, which itself is a dungeon.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The grammar—if you can call it that—in the explanation of Polyn in Chronicle.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • Yay! The day is saved! But Monica and Max's mom, whom he's been pining for the entire game, won't come stay in his time period, and time travel becomes illegal in their future.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Responsible for Max's existence. His mother was sent from the future to protect his dad, the owner of the red Atlamillia. She ended up falling in love with him, but had to leave both him and his son because she really didn't belong in their time.
  • Bonus Dungeon: Zelmite Mine is unlocked after you finish the game and it is brutal.
  • Boss Rush: The Spiral of Dreams features five boss fights leading to the final boss of Chapter 7.
  • Boss Subtitles: Many bosses have this, though some major story bosses lack this.
  • Breakable Weapons: Weapons slowly break the more you use them. Unlike its predecessor, broken weapons don't completely disappear. They are disabled until you hit them with a Repair Powder.
  • Broken Bridge: Pretty much all the time, there's something oh so conveniently at the station where you stop that prevents the train from going further. (Even a literal example of this trope!) Justified in that the railroad was not used in what is implied to be at least one or two decades.
  • Call-Back: A few to the first game:
    • The line, "So, you hate me too." Said by both Seda and Gaspard, both white-haired villains.
    • At the end of each game: Destruction of the Atlamillia(s).
    • Intense emotion of the assumed main villain becomes personified as the real main villain.
    • Steve the robot is a call back to Steve the talking slingshot (one of Xiao's possible weapons). He can even talk if you decide to get the voice box for him!
    • Being able to get a Cat Girl outfit for Monica may be a nod to Xiao (tenuous, as the outfit bears no strong resemblance to the character).
    • One or two characters from the first game show up here: notably Osmond and possibly Seda. The latter is strongly hinted at, but never explicitly stated.
  • Camp Gay: King Mardan is a giant purple fish with enlarged lips and a faaaaabulous voice who really likes taking care of his looks. Monica can't believe he's a guy!
  • Can't Catch Up: Very easy to invoke. Fortunately, you can avoid it by beating a monster to an inch of its life with a strong character, then having a weaker character finish it off. Unfortunately, it's very easy to kill a monster by accident if you're in the middle of a combo. This matters less here, where you have to physically pick up XP. Switching off splits it between both of the character's current weapons. If you want to level up only one of the weapons, you must use the above method, landing the killing blow with the weapon you want to grow.
    • Once the experience spills out, you can actually pick it up with any weapon of the same type that you used to kill the monster. So there's always a way to level up even the weakest weapons if you have a strong weapon of the same type. Sadly, the frequency with which you'll be using this tactic means you have to pause and switch weapons a lot, since there isn't a button dedicated to switching weapons.
  • Cel Shading: The graphics are beautifully cel-shaded.
  • Charged Attack:
    • Many of the Ridepod's weapons, especially the missile arms have a charge time.
    • Monica's magic-armband thing takes some time into charging her magic until she releases it.
  • The Chessmasters: Max and Monica's whole plan to defeat Griffon involves meticulously altering the future mostly by building up strategic settlements and placing key figures in specific positions. All of this pays off in no less than a hundred years. Granted, the Geostones give them the requirements for restoration, but Max and Monica have to incorporate them into their planning, and they end up not only repairing the future but improving it in subtle ways.
  • Chest Monster: The Mimic and King Mimic return in this game as well, though not as strong as in the previous game.
  • City in a Bottle: Palm Brinks is closed off the outside world and no one knows why. Max's curiosity for the outside world is one of his defining traits.
  • Close-Enough Timeline: Creating one is the whole point of the game. But instead of putting things "close enough" to how they were supposed to be in the future, Max and Monica end up bringing about even better futures. Max speculates that this was necessary all along, and even Griffon plays an important role in creating a better future.
  • Colony Drop: The Moon Flower Palace that nearly crashes into Palm Brinks, and then the Star of Destruction meant to destroy civilization if the Cosmic Keystones were ever collected in one place.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Monica carries the Moon Atlamillia, colored blue. Max carries the Earth Atlamillia, colored red. Time Gates, Sealed Floors, and even the attack patterns of the Final Boss and the Bonus Boss use these motifs.
  • Cool Old Guy: Galen Agaris. Just listen to that kick-ass voice!
  • Cool Train: The Blackstone One early on is a train that hasn't run for many years. In the last quarter of the game, it is replaced by the time-traveling Ixion. Once she sees the interior, with its seizure-inducing neon lighting and gaudy yellows and purples, Monica quickly disputes its cool factor, much to Max's disappointment.
  • Cool Ship: Death Ark.
  • Continuity Nod Dark Genie, the previous game's Big Bad, is the boss of the Bonus Dungeon. In addition, the music from the first game's intro plays in the battle.
  • Contrived Coincidence: There's always some kind of obstacle keeping the train from leaving a station until the player has finished the storyline in that area (at which point the obstacle just happens to get cleared out). This is even true in places like Veniccio Coast, which the main characters specifically intended to go to, and thus have no reason to leave until the job is done anyway.
  • Cosmic Keystone: The Atlamillia Stones are said to control the power of the sun and can bring the Moon down to earth.
  • Crutch Character: The Ridepod is capable of dealing far more damage than either Max or Monica at the start, and gets some hefty upgrades over the course of the game. It starts to fall behind quite a bit in the later levels, however, due to its best weapons having far lower DPS than Max and Monica's fully maxed out weaponry.
    • He's also a bigger target and, if he's using a ranged weapon, has no way to block damage. In a game where you aren't meant to tank anything, this makes him very costly to use.
    • According to various walkthroughs, a maxed out Steve is supposedly superior to a maxed out Monica or Max (who have significantly higher damage output), and he's the first choice for speed-running through the game, start to finish. Though that probably has more to do with his upgradeable speed and maneuverability and the fact that he can attack while moving.
  • Death Mountain: Mount Gundor, an active volcano with swarms of monsters.
  • Disc-One Nuke: Through the mayor, you can get tickets that let you rename any piece of gear. Normally it just lets you add a cosmetic flair to your weapons, but due to a bug if you rename a weapon to the name of another weapon, it'll turn into that weapon. This can give you rather powerful weapons much earlier than you are supposed to get them. But on the downside, they will only have the base stats that the weapon can have, so they will be lacking in any substats that you may have given a weapon while grinding it up the proper way. So ultimately, weapons attained the proper way will be more powerful than ones attained through the glitch, but early on that won't particularly matter with the raw base stats they'll have.
  • Disco Tech: Aeroharmonics Technology, which uses sound and music to make things fly. Originally developed (and weaponized) by Dr. Jaming, later used to develop flying vehicles, including the time-travelling locomotive Ixion.
  • Distress Ball: Subverted when Monica ends up being kidnapped by Gaspard. She eventually regains consciousness and helps Max defeat Gaspard's second form.
  • Distressed Dude: Ironically enough, Max ends up being saved by Monica after Flotsam tries to blow him to smithereens.
  • Dual Wielding:
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Monica procures a starglass which sends the holder to where- and whenever their most important thing is, and gets dumped right in Max's lap, to her delight. Also, after the bonus dungeon, the epilogue shows everyone in Palm Brinks working together to restore the train-lines and colonize the region.
  • Easily Forgiven: Gaspard. Monica burst in on him killing her father, he was a thorn in the sides of Max and Monica for three whole chapters, and yet when Monica hears his tragic backstory, she forgives him instantly.
  • Elopement: One interpretation of Monica's actions in the epilogue. She's the princess/Queen of her kingdom, and time traveling is completely outlawed after the plot of the game. Nevertheless she gets a starglass—which lets the holder travel to the time and place they find most important to themselves—and gets sent on a one-way trip to Max's exact coordinates, and never looks back. The ending of the epilogue shows her still with him, so in all likelihood she's sticking around for good. Of course, there's no actual marriage, but considering how inseparable the two are, it fits the spirit of the trope.
  • Equipment-Based Progression: You can increase your characters' Health meter, but you can only increase damage by adding enhancements to their weapons and, eventually, building them up into bigger weapons. You do find new weapons occasionally, but after you've built up one weapon a couple times, even the mightiest new weapons start to pale.
  • Evil Laugh: The Dark Element. Especially its defeat.
  • Evolving Weapon: Experience goes to weapons instead of the characters. They can level up and turn into better weapons, which culminates in the so-called Terminal weapons, at the end of the weapon evolution branches.
  • Expy: The Shiguras, big blue sea creatures bear an uncanny resemblance to Lapras.
  • Final Boss, New Dimension: The Spiral of Dreams, which appears after Griffon is defeated and leads to Dark Element, the final boss.
  • First Person Snapshooter: Max takes pictures of almost anything, which can be used to create inventions.
  • First Town: Palm Brinks.
  • Fishing Minigame: Of two flavors:
    • You can use a lure or a bait rod to fish in the lakes or ponds. The Fishing Contest requires catching the heaviest fish and weighing them in Palm Brinks.
    • You can place fish you catch in an aquarium to feed, raise and breed them. The Finny Frenzy is a race of speed between aquarium fish.
  • Flamboyant Gay: Possibly the only thing ever in which the flamboyant gay is a fish. A huge, purple, lipstick-wearing fish.
  • Flavor Text: The "floor episode" names for every non-plot-critical dungeon floor. For the most part, these are simply pointless descriptors; they do actually occasionally tell you what to expect on a given floor ("Sweet Scary Treasure Chest" is your first encounter with a King Mimic), or describe a floor in relation to another floor ("Entrance To Rainbow Falls" is Exactly What It Says on the Tin), but all in all, the floor names are just there for kicks. Additionally, many items, fish, and so forth in the game have flavor text that's just there to be there.
  • For Want of a Nail: The game depends on this. How will the future change if you build the past a bit differently?
  • Foreshadowing: During the first fight with Emperor Griffon, you can see the pictures in the background that you use as reference for the final georama.
  • Forced into Evil: The Rainbow Butterfly is hostile because it was corrupted by Griffon's powers in Sindain forest.
  • Framing Device: It's not revealed until later. The game is being laid out in a letter Max is writing to his mom for her to pick up in the future. It neatly explains why the game focuses more on him and than Monica, and also why he has so many mommy-issues—its the the first and final communication he'll ever have with his mother, so it only makes sense that he makes her a part of it.
  • Freudian Excuse:
    • Griffon was mistreated for not being human and lost the only person who was kind to him in war.
    • Gaspard was mistreated for being only half-human and was forced into a life of stealing until his mother became terminally ill and died.
    • Dr. Jaming was mistreated for being human but with an extreme deformity.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: In the English release, what is clearly a bottle of wine is referred to as "grape juice".
  • Funny Animal: Dr. Dell, Palm Brinks's doctor, is a walking, talking duck.
  • Fur Bikini: A bonus outfit, which, combined with the boots and bell, makes Monica look like a Cat Girl.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Cedric's workshop is full of gadgets and inventions, and his creation, the Ridepod, is no slouch. Max, being his apprentice, is slowly developing into one by inventing items through the use of photography.
  • Gatling Good: Steve's gatling gun attachments and Max's Last Resort, a handheld minigun and terminal stage of the machinegun path.
  • Game Gourmet: Along with Dark Cloud's four HP-recovery itemsnote  and Tasty Water, this game adds roasted chestnuts, crunchy bread, plum onigiri, and flan pudding to its main menu, and you can also cook fish that you catch. Many food items can be "invented" with pictures Max takes of the right things, with different ingredients with which to assemble them, themselves being a subset of many different raw materials you come across. Heart-throb cherries, while primarily serving to stop enemies since Dark Cloud, can also be consumed to cure your own stoppage. Witch Parfaits, Ruby's favorite food from before, also return as Monica's, with Potato Pie as Max's equivalent item and Fruits of Eden also reprising their role.
  • Glass Cannon: Even at the end game with maxed out Defense and Health enemies will be taking out large chunks of Max and Monica's health if they don't guard. Some enemies and bosses will be able to damage them regardless of whether they're blocking or not; in these cases getting hit with their attacks with no defenses will more often than not end in a One-Hit KO on the character in question. In turn, if their weapons are adequately leveled they'll be taking out enemies in a single combo or a few ranged shots. Most of the strategy with end game bosses rely on killing them quickly before they inevitably whittle your health down.
  • Good Shepherd: Priest Bruno is the exceptionally kind cleric of Palm Brinks.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: Every single "important" citizen in Palm Brinks can be recruited, hauled aboard the Blackstone One, added to the party as a "support character" with a non-combat skill, and dropped off at the towns you create. Said recruitment can involve either Fetch Quests or minigames.
  • Guide Dang It!: The invention system. There are literally hundreds of objects that can be used in the invention system, but many of them don't actually go into any inventions. You get hints from some NPCs and also from anything that could have something written on it. Unfortunately, some of this reading material exists in sites in the future. Thankfully, most of the items you can invent can also be gained either through upgrading or buying if you just wait long enough.
    • Many of the scoops are from one time boss battles, and thus are Lost Forever if you don't get them during the fight. Luckily, the scoop guide tends to give you hints about most boss scoops, letting you know they are there. Except for "Brave Little Linda", only available for the very first fight after getting your camera, in a fight you are expected to stay in your ridepod for, and before the concept of scoops is even explained. If you don't already know about it, there is little chance you'll get it.
  • Having a Heart: Monica asks Dr. Osmond to lend a hand when she and Max travel to the Lunatic Wisdom Labs. After a moment's hesitation, he pops off one of his hands and offers it to her.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Gaspard is driven mad by Griffon the minute he defects, forcing the heroes to kill him.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Dr. Jaming realizes the error of his ways when the Shiguras he controlled didn't bear him any ill will and even helped him wake up after the beating he received. It results in his descendant becoming a good guy in Monica's time.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: A viable tactic. Be careful, though; every time an enemy is hit, no matter how weakly, it takes a point off its rage meter. When it's raged, it temporarily becomes stronger.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Food and water are used to restore health, and naturally, Nobody Poops. Giving Max and Monica their favorite food increases their HP and some stats.
  • I Call It "Vera": The Ridepod. "I call it Steve." Also, for an exorbitant price you can rename your own weapons. Can be useful when you realize that you can actually change the weapon's name into the name of another weapon and have it become that weapon (presumably due to a programming bug.) This allows you to change even a throwaway weapon into the most powerful weapon of a class.
  • Idiot Ball: Max and Monica letting Griffon steal their atlamillia. You'd think that at least by the time he grabbed the first one, the owner of the second one would react in time to stop him.
  • Improbable Weapon User: The heroes can wield giant, frozen tunas as blunt weapons, golf clubs, Tiki masks, slingshots...
  • In a Single Bound: Monica Raybrandt has suicidally long ones in cutscenes, especially an impossibly long one to the Death Ark when it's above the crater of an active volcano.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Your favorite food will somehow appear within these treasure chests as you continue rebuilding the world.
  • In Medias Res: The game opens with Monica fending off an invasion by Griffon's troops in her own castle. We then switch to the actual timeline where Max is preparing for the circus.
  • Interface Spoiler: In just about every dungeon after the first, there is an obvious branching path that is sealed off. By the time you make finish Gundora volcano, you've not yet gotten an item that unlocks them. So obviously, when Chapter 6 has no dungeon in itself, guess what you're going to do!
  • Instant Awesome: Just Add Mecha!: Paznos is a huge mechanical fortress designed to fend off Griffon's army with giant laser beams.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: Game time is much faster than real time (one real-time minute = one game-time hour).
  • I Take Offense to That Last One!: During their first confrontation, Monica swears to make Gaspard pay for ransacking her kingdom, helping Griffon to destroy Max's timeline, and killing her father. Gaspard's response?
    Murdered? Now, that hurts. Your father and I fought fairly... he just wasn't good enough to beat me.
  • It's Always Spring: It rains in Palm Brinks in the opening cutscene, and sometimes rains at various frequencies in outdoor dungeons, but it never snows or rains anywhere else.
  • It's Personal: Monica's vendetta with Gaspard started because he killed her father at the end of the opening scene.
  • Jumped at the Call: Max eagerly dives into the adventure headfirst. Because he's been confined within Palm Brinks all his life, he wishes to see the outside world and live a great adventure.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Several of Monica's swords are katanas. The most powerful melee weapon for the Ridepod is the Samurai Arm IV which dual wields katanas.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down:
    • Flotsam gleefully enjoys kicking the Mayor whom he is basically coercing.
    • Max will kick enemies that have been knocked onto the ground using his melee attack.
  • Kid Hero: Although the game only gives hints as to Max's age, according to the official Japanese artbook, he is 13, Monica is 15.
  • King Mook:
    • The guardians of the Chapter 6 shrines are bigger, palette-swapped versions of regular enemies.
    • Several midbosses - namely Linda, Memo-Eater, and the guardians at the dead ends in the Zelmite Mine - are also palette/model swapped versions of regular enemies. However, in the case of Linda and Memo-Eater, they are palette-swapped versions of regular enemies you haven't encountered yet.
  • Lethal Joke Item: The Island King, the sword with the highest attack rating, looks like... a surfboard-sized tiki mask with a pinwheel attached to the end. And banana leaves for a handguard.
  • Licked by the Giant Sea Dragon: The inspiration for Dr. Jaming's Heel–Face Turn is the Shiguras helping him recover even though he mind controlled them.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: You can recruit half of Palm Brinks to work as support characters. They all stay on the Blackstone until you build them a house in the appropriate village (or don't).
  • Luck-Based Mission: The Spheda courses are randomly generated; they can range from trivially easy to really challenging, and even completely impossible at times. The player can always try again with a different course, though.
  • MacGuffin Delivery Service: Max and Monica confront Griffon while still wearing their Atlamillia. The obvious happens.
  • Macross Missile Massacre and Roboteching: Steve's Missile Pod weapons. And yes, it is just as awesome when fired from a mech made from an old refrigerator (and about as accurate as you'd expect, sadly.)
  • Made of Evil: The Dark Element, a literal Elemental Embodiment of evil that formed in Sirus as he gradually became Griffon. When Griffon comes to his senses, the Element physically manifests and tries to destroy the world himself.
  • Magic Knight: Monica, who has mastered a variety of swords as well as elemental magic.
  • Market-Based Title: Dark Chronicle is called Dark Cloud 2 in the United States and Canada, for some reason.
  • Mecha Expansion Pack: Ridepod, of course.
  • A Mech by Any Other Name: The Ridepod, also known as Steve.
  • Meaningful Name: Dr. Jaming from Chronicle dedicated his life to Disco Tech, most of all, making objects float by sound alone.
  • Mineral MacGuffin: The Atlamillia jewels, which Griffon wants, and Max and Monica have.
  • Mini-Game: Fishing, Finny Frenzy and Spheda (which is basically golf).
  • Mini-Mecha: Again, Steve the Ridepod.
  • Missing Mom: Max's mother disappeared when he was very young. He's made it one of his major objectives to find her. Monica's mother is never even mentioned.
  • Missing Trailer Scene: Two scenes appear in the opening video and early trailer of Dark Chronicle that don't occur in game: Max driving a car and racing against the Blackstone One, and Max running away from Flotsam on the Palm Brinks rooftops.
  • Monster Clown: Flotsam and to a lesser extent his Circus, and strangely one of Max's costumes is even creepier.
  • Mordor: The place Moon Flower Palace exists in, ten thousand years ago. Heim Rada has shades of this because of Mt. Gundor spewing ash across the sky.
  • More Dakka: The Ridepod has machineguns you can make/equip to him; Max has his own possible machineguns.
  • Mr. Fixit: Max is an inversion of the Bungling Inventor, as he can turn some milk cans into fully-functioning battery packs for his mecha, and they always work.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Linda's circus performance in the prologue of Chronicle. Who knew elephants could jump that high?
  • Never Say "Die": Averted. One of the first things Flotsam tells Max is "Give me that stone or die!"
  • Nice Hat: Many examples, most of them because of clothing you buy/invent/trade medals for.
  • New Game+: Acquiring any alternate clothes allows the player to start the game with Max and Monica wearing their choice of the acquired clothes, as long as the game save containing the clothes can be accessed. There's also the photo album (obtained in Max's house from Chapter 2 onwards), that allows you to save up to 50 pictures, and can be accessed in any save game where the album is in the inventory. Saving certain ideas and scoops into the album allows you to invent and build things that you wouldn't normally have access to yet, like the Ridepod's best weapons, or some really powerful weapons for Max and Monica that will tear through early enemies with ease.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Steve the Ridepod can be customized with a variety of parts, including "sets" that make him look like a samurai, or even a clown, armed with firepower ranging from machine guns to laser cannons.
  • Noble Demon: Though he killed her father, Gaspard tells Monica that he fought him fairly. Once Monica defeats him, he accepts defeat and death (though the action ironically makes Monica hesitate and miss her chance to kill him), and after their second fight, Gaspard actually is seen tending to an unconscious Monica before Max comes in and the two fight.
  • Nominal Importance: Averted, but only if you're paying attention: secondary characters never tell you their names, but every single one has a unique name that you can discover by snapping their picture and looking at the caption. What distinguishes important characters, then? When you point the camera at them, they pose.
  • Non-Ironic Clown: You will occasionally encounter the Happy Clown in a treasure chest. His gimmick is that he offers you the choice between two boxes, which can have a variety of useful items, materials, or even weapons.
  • Not Quite Dead: Flotsam returns as a cyborg in Dark Chronicle's bonus dungeon.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: After revealing his true form, the first battle with Griffon is one of the hardest in the game.
  • Noob Cave: The Underground Channel.
  • Oddly Small Organization: The Palm Brinks police force.
  • Ominous Floating Castle: Moon Flower Palace becomes this after Griffon goes One-Winged Angel. But all that goes up must come down, regardless of where it hits...unless something catches it.
  • Palmtree Panic: Chapter 4 takes place on Veniccio Coast which is a beautiful tropical beach. While the dungeons are underground caves, you spend the whole chapter building a town atop the coast.
  • Parental Abandonment: Monica is made fatherless (assumedly an orphan, as her mother is never mentioned). Max has a Missing Mom, and his father is important to restoring Gundarada.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Several dozen photographs can be missed (often because they involve stopping for a photo op during boss battles, or are only available in the future), and several Fruits of Eden can be rendered inaccessible by a glitch. Also, due to the existence of the Bonus Dungeon, any Medals, treasures, and prizes from the Very Definitely Final Dungeon will go away when it becomes inaccessible, along with any uncollected treasures from the future areas.
  • Pretty Princess Powerhouse: Monica Raybrandt is introduced to the player slicing up enemies in her princess clothes. She's an expert of the sword and magic, and doesn't hesitate to travel and fight through time to avenge her father and save the future.
  • Viewers Are Goldfish: Every single cutscene in the future of Chronicle has both parts of the conversation included. This is especially bad since the game has voice acting.
  • Playing Possum: How Griffon steals the Atlamillia.
  • Punk Punk: Clock Punk reigns supreme, from the Spider Mech clowns to the Firbits' Carpenterion. Yet there's some significant —albeit rare— Steampunk technology, and Max can draw inspiration from the future era to invent ray guns from household materials and his wooden mecha can now fly with wooden hover-jets and shoot beams of sunlight from ceramic vases.
    • That last one is justified in that the original "beams of sunlight from ceramic vases", the Nova Cannon, was created by Luna Lab, some years in the future. Fridge Brilliance dictates that Max just modified it repeatedly, making each mod more awesome than the last.
  • Puzzle Boss: Quite a few. In one notable example, if you deplete Shingala's life meter instead of using a certain item on it, you get a Game Over.
  • Rainbow Pimp Gear: Some of the weapons in the game can be downright silly. The worst offender though is Monica's ultimate sword, the Island King, which has a freaking pinwheel on the end of the blade. Since cutscenes avert No Cutscene Inventory Inertia, this can result in serious cutscenes coming off as unintentionally hilarious with stuff like Monica threatening Gaspard with a meat cleaver or Max fighting off enemies with a golf club.
  • Ray Gun: The Supernova, the most powerful gun in the game, and second only to the Nova Cannon, the Ridepod's most powerful weapon overall. It wears down very quickly without some preparation, though.
  • Redemption Earns Life: Dr. Jaming.
  • Redemption Equals Death:
    • Sirus, already wounded by the Big Bad, realizes what he has done and redeems himself by stopping the Star of Destruction with the last of his strength.
    • Also, Gaspard literally just decides that he's going to quit the side of evil, and that alone gets him killed.
  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: Zig-zagged. It seems everyone in the future has it, as they remember just what has changed in the past due to Griffon's time-traveling shenanigans. However, as Max and Monica begin restoring the future and some things deviate from their original form, most of the residents of the future don't notice anything has changed. This includes Lin being the Great Sage instead of Crest, Dr. Jaming's grandson working at the Luna Labs, aeroharmonics being perfected, and the Paznos having a Colossus Mode. Only Monica, who was in the present when the changes were made, notices anything different from how she remembers them.
  • Robot Clown: The Repulsive Ringmaster Flotsam rides around on a huge, clown-faced Spider Tank called Halloween. Later on, Flotsam himself is given a cyborg body after his near-death, but still retains his clownish facepaint and colorful suit.
  • Rousseau Was Right: Most of the villains have fairly decent Freudian Excuses and do Heel-Face Turns eventually. The sole exception is Flotsam, who, by all appearances, is nothing more than a psychopathic Jerkass.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Monica's reason for adventuring is the restoration of her kingdom, which has suffered from the actions of the big bad.
  • Saintly Church:
    • The one in Palm Brinks in Chronicle. It doesn't actually do anything, but at least it's not evil.
    • The one you place in Balance Valley as well, and this one actually does do something: It forms the basis for the Starlight Temple in Monica's time.
  • Schizo Tech: Steampunk robots, rayguns, knights with magic armbands, airships, steam trains, and guys in spacesuits with hyper-advanced computers are all bumping elbows with each other, and no one considers this to be at all strange.
  • Secret Test of Character: Max's encounter with the red-haired child. It's implied that, if he had failed, Monica would've traveled to a different point in time to find another wielder of the Earth Atlamillia who could be persuaded to help her.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Lin's wish to save her master, Crest. This is also the crux of Monica and Max's plan to Save the World, though they do it the practical way by founding strategic settlements and building up infrastructure to pay off 100 years down the line.
  • Shout-Out: A woman in a forest with seven little men who acts as a mother to them... Where have we seen this before?
  • Sinister Scythe: The Dragon, Gaspard, transforms his sword's blade into a nasty-looking scythe after a first duel with Monica.
  • Sinister Tango Music: Moonlight Tango, which plays when Maximilian is on the run from Flotsam and his Monster Clown mooks.
  • Something About a Rose: Griffon's true form uses roses with deadly accuracy. Notable in that Sirus loved flowers before his Start of Darkness and using them as weapons reveals just how far he has fallen.
  • Spider Tank: Halloween, Flotsam's enormous clown-themed mecha.
  • Spin to Deflect Stuff: Max's Spin Attack can deflect projectiles.
  • Start of Darkness: The flashbacks to Alexandra's time in the Moon Flower Palace, depicting how Griffon fell from grace.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Multiple characters in the future bear a very strong resemblance to their implied grandparents (characters that are required to reside in georama for the future characters to appear).
  • Talking to the Dead: Lin to Crest.
  • Terminator Twosome: Griffon breaks the past, Monica comes from the future to restore it, Gaspard comes to try to stop her. Max is sort of caught in the middle.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: When you stop to think about it, the way time travel works in this game is definitely "wibbly-wobbly".
  • The Man Behind the Man: Dark Element, who is a physical manifestation of Sirus/Emperor Griffon's evil thoughts and feelings.
  • The Slow Path: This is part of the process of rebuilding the world; do something in Max's time and then jump forward to Monica while the thing they did develops into something useful day-by-day.
  • Tomboy Princess: Monica is implied to have studied swordcraft and combat magic for a long time pre-series since she is so good at it in the game's prologue. Also, her default outfit for adventuring is simple and practical rather than her princess outfit (which is an alternative costume).
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Potato pie for Max and witch parfait for Monica, which act as Heart Containers in the game, though only the former is actually mentioned in-story. Pau's favorite food is carrots, and the Firbits are said to be crazy about "grape juice". King Mardan likes Poison Apples (as do the rest of his species). An early cutscene shows that Flotsam likes roasted chestnuts.
  • Traintop Battle: At the end of the first chapter.
  • Turns Red: Every monster besides bosses has a "rage meter" above their HP consisting of a number of red circles. Every time they get hit (or take several hits if you're using a machine gun), they lose a circle. If all the circles are gone, they flash red and hit two or three times as hard. Unfortunately, this makes trying to level weaker weapons very difficult unless you backtrack.
  • Underground Monkey: While the game boasts plenty of different monsters, they each get about four or five different varieties.
  • Updated Re-release: Downplayed in regards to the PS4 version. While it's technically just an emulated PS2 game, it does feature upscaled graphics and PSN trophies.
  • Villain Override: Gaspard is controlled by Emperor Griffon after Gaspard has his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Warmup Boss: Linda, Flotsam's elephant, who serves mainly to show you how to use the Ridepod.
  • Wham Episode: The end of Chapter 4.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: While wearing the Monster Transform Badge Monica can speak to the Monsters without them attacking her. They have a range of dialog, including one who says that he loves living in the area as he's just about to get a little sister. Not if you've just killed everyone else in the area, he's not.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Gaspard, Griffon's Dragon.
  • Wrench And Gun: Max wields either a wrench or a hammer in his right hand, and a gun in his left.

Alternative Title(s): Dark Cloud 2


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